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It’s been a good few years – 78 years to be exact – since Abraham Maslow published his paper “A Theory of Human Motivation” and introduced us to the ‘Hierarchy of Needs’.

Chances are you’re already familiar with it, but it features five stages and is typically stylized like a pyramid. Moving from the bottom to the top, the stages theorized a human being’s motivation; psychological, safety, love/belonging, esteem, and self-actualization. The theory was that the lower needs have to be satisfied before you can move up to attend to the needs of the next stage, and so on until you reach the final stage.

But as we stated before, it’s been a while. So much about life, especially working life, has changed in the last 12 months. Is it time to introduce a new hierarchy of needs that is more suited to not only the 21st century, but our current working situation, and the state of modern recruitment?

Before we dive in, let’s quickly recap the five stages of human needs (according to Maslow):

  1. Physiological: This first stage is about our most basic needs like food, water, and sleep
  2. Safety: Are we safe? Are we healthy? This covers everything from shelter to financial stability
  3. Love / belonging: Once we’re safe and fed, how do we feel like we belong in our own lives? This could be through relationships, friendships, and romantic intimacy
  4. Esteem: Then we start to work on ourselves. This self-growth and building on our esteem happens through status, respect, and recognition
  5. Self-actualization: This final stage relates to self-fulfillment which – according to Maslow – says is unique to every person

Introducing: The new hierarchy of needs for working from home in 2021

2020 saw a complete overhaul of how we do our jobs, and how businesses interact with their employees. Last year saw us replace face-to-face meetings with Zoom and desks with dining room tables. The working world has changed, and our needs have alongside it, with how we go about our jobs, the way we communicate, flexibility, and ways to improve productivity. One thing that hasn’t changed though is our desire to succeed in our careers.

Now in 2021, mid-pandemic, many businesses are now in full work-from-home mode while continuing to go about their day, conducting meetings, recruiting new staff, and pitching for new customers. With all that in mind, business security solutions provider, Expert Security UK, thinks it’s time for a new hierarchy of needs:

  • Working equipment: To do a job properly in the digital age, your equipment needs to be top-notch. That means no internet outages, no computer crashes, or faulty equipment. These are the basics.
  • Security: We all need, and all deserve, to feel safe regardless of where we do business. This means that our premises – wherever that may be – needs to be protected efficiently with things like electric gates, driveway security bollards, and CCTV, etc.
  • Safety and hygiene: If 2020 has taught us anything, it’s that we should never be complacent when it comes to hygiene, especially in an enclosed workspace. As we (hopefully) move forwards out of this pandemic, businesses will need to have updated health and safety policies that reflect hygiene and social distancing best practices. If home is your work – whether it’s temporary or permanent – keep your hygiene standards high.
  • Team culture: Don’t forget about your people. Office banter and inside jokes are easy to keep alive when you’re all in one place, but with most people working from home, it’s more important now to keep that office culture alive and well. Use the internet and digital means to your advantage.
  • Career success: Just because we’re working from home doesn’t mean our ambitions have been put on hold. We all have a need to feel valued, and that includes in our careers. Make sure your employees’ progressions are still on track, so they have something to work for.

By Sam Levene at Expert Security UK.

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